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Blaze of Sorrow – Vultus Fati

blaze of sorrow – vultus fati


It was impossible for me not to be drawn to the artwork of the latest Blaze of Sorrow record, 2023’s ‘Vultus Fati’. The imagery of a horse rider approaching a snowy mountain town, drawn by artist Adam Burke, is both stunning and fascinating. Along with it came the preview track ‘Flammae’ and the combination of both got me intrigued to delve into their newest opus, once again brought to us by the esteemed Eisenwald record label.

Those that are familiar with the Italian band will be able to tell you that they have steadily improved on their brand of atmospheric Black Metal. Their sound is at times furious but often focusses on carrying melodies with a healthy infusion of Pagan and Folk influences and even somewhat progressive twists. And ‘Vultus Fati’ does not move far away from that formula. In fact, it improves upon it.

Shortly after the acoustic guitar strumming of ‘Furor’ has started we are introduced to arguably the largest addition to the Blaze of Sorrow sound, which is the contribution of guest musician Eva Impellizzeri on the viola. The incorporation of this instrument fits seamlessly with the already present Folk influences of the band and further adds to the at times melancholic and dreamy atmosphere of the music. It hasn’t come at the cost of the more uptempo sections at all, in fact the band still ensures a balanced sound that is both harsh but at the same time soothing. Some songs like ‘Flammae’ present the band from a somewhat pacier side, although there is still plenty of room for atmospheric breaks and in particular the drum rhythms vary often. On the other hand, a track like ‘Nel Vento’ approached things more from a progressive and Pagan angle, while also incorporating some beautiful melancholic melodies. The more Pagan track ‘Eretica’ impresses while it shifts from melodic midpaced beginnings to a solo-led uptempo piece towards the end. And in ‘Aion’ some traces of the Scandinavian Folk-tinged Black Metal scene can be heard, making it one of the grimmer tracks on ‘Vultus Fati’.

With artwork as striking as the latest Blaze of Sorrow record, the music behind it has to live up to the promise. And it did. ‘Vultus Fati’ is easily the best album by the band so far, displaying their sound at its most diverse and elaborate. The viola is a keeper as far as I’m concerned, as it seems to enhance everything that was already good about the band to a new level.

Blaze Of Sorrow

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